Four more people died from an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday, bringing the total death toll to five.
Twenty-five more people have taken ill since the last update from the agency on May 16, with 197 patients from 35 states now affected, the CDC said on Friday.
The additional patients who died were from Arkansas, California, Minnesota and New York and some did not report eating lettuce themselves, but came into contact with those who did, the CDC said.
Most new cases involve people who became sick two or three weeks ago, when the tainted lettuce was still available for sale.
The US Food And Drug Administration said on May 16 that the harvest season for romaine lettuce is over, so the E. coli outbreak, too, should be coming to an end.
The E. coli outbreak traced back to romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region is now responsible for five deaths and another 25 illnesses, the CDC reports
The reported strain of E. coli, which produces poisonous substances known as Shiga toxins, can cause severe stomach cramps,